Our Top Picks for the 28th Annual Rainbow Film Festival

l'estate addosso HRFF
L'estate addosso.

With a variety of LGBT films showcased this week, we share our must-see picks to watch on the big screen.

As one of the longest-running LGBT film festivals in the country, the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival will be celebrating its 28th year with 20 film screenings at the Doris Duke Theatre, in addition to talk story programs and other special events.

In addition to the 20 films screened between August 10th and August 18th, the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation (HGLCF) will roll out the signature Red Carpet on August 19th for a glamorous evening affair with delegates, celebrities, actors, and filmmakers.

Finishing the festival with a bang, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, Dustin Lance Black, and Olympic diving medalist, Tom Daley, are hosting a pool party fundraiser in Waikīkī to benefit HGLCF.

Our team selected a handful of films we’re interested in to help you sort through the diverse titles.

Summertime (L’estate Addosso)

I’m a sucker for the “endless summer” genre and I’m charmed by the story line of two Italian teens traveling to America, uncertain of their future and the events that will highlight their summer adventures. In addition, the film was awarded Best Soundtrack at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. Fantastico! — Aja Toscano, digital content coordinator

Screens Saturday, 8/12 at 8:15 p.m.


I Dream in Another Language (Sueño En Otro Idioma)

This film looks intriguing. A linguist researching the dying language Zikril unravels the troubled past of the last two Zikril speakers. The two men, who were once inseparable, have not spoken to one another in 50 years. The trailer suggests their relationship fell apart because of a woman, but the film festival’s description implies it was their own romance that went sour. I guess I’ll just have to watch the film to find out. — Andrea Lee, intern

Screens Wednesday, 8/16 at 6 p.m.


The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Trans people played a large role in the early LGBT rights movement in America, and I feel like films highlighting their impact and life are rare. Given the mystery and drama surrounding her death, it will be interesting to see how the movie tries to dig up details on such an old case and bring some sort of closure to a Stonewall icon. — Mitchell Fong, designer

Screens Friday, 8/18 at 1 p.m.


Whose Streets?

Timely and important. This film also looks affirming in making visible the resistance and leadership of those who are often the most marginalized in the community—queer, black, and female. Definitely won’t be missing the Q&A with activist Brittany Ferrell, one of the subjects of this film, following the screening. — Matthew Dekneef, managing editor

Screens Thursday, 8/17 at 7 p.m.